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272                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP.
The Failure of the Expedition.—D'Albuquerque decided
to construct a powerful fort, the foundations of which
were duly laid, but the intrigues of his captains reacted
on the political situation and the work was stopped. A
bombardment and a blockade both failed, and when
three ships of his squadron of seven deserted, there was
no course open to him except to make for Socotra. He
returned to Hormuz later, but not in sufficient strength
to effect anything, and thereafter the island-state resumed
its allegiance to Persia, its king adopting Shia principles
in order to gratify Shah Ismail.
The Final Occupation of Hormuz by the Portuguese^
A.D. 1515.—Seven years passed, and D'Albuquerque, who
had meanwhile become Viceroy of the Portuguese posses-
sions in India, was able at last to attack Hormuz with a
powerful fleet. He sailed from Goa with twenty-seven
ships, carrying 3000 men and ample supplies. The
local situation had entirely changed. A new puppet
king reigned, and the power was in the hands of the
Persian party, headed by a masterful personality known as
Rats, or Chief, Hamid. But no open resistance to the
Portuguese was possible, and their demand for permission
to complete the fort was granted. Rais Hamid was
assassinated by the Portuguese when he visited D'Albu-
querque, and the King, freed from his influence, was ready
to obey the victors in all matters.
The building of the fort proceeded throughout the
summer, and when finished it was a splendid piece of
work. Indeed so solid was its construction that when I
visited it some fifteen years ago it was in excellent preser-
vation. To quote from my description : " This grand
old fortress is still practically intact, and is approached by
a massive door, studded with iron spikes. It was protected
in front by a bastion of great strength, flanked by a
second bastion, after which the guard-house was passed.
Beyond this the main lower portion of the fort was visible.
It consisted of a square with a large tank, now empty,
round which were barracks and store-houses, built into
the massive forty-foot wall which has a parapet eighteen
feet wide. A steep rise led to the inner work, in which